Limbaugh: Friend or Foe of GOP?

"If we can't embrace what Obama is trying to do, then it's critical that the party offer an alternative that the public understands is legitimate," said Bashur. "The public is not going to accept a party that just says 'no.'"

"It's politically dangerous for the party to appear to be obstructionist or naysayers and not to give the new president and his programs a chance," he said.

But Richard Norton Smith, an ABC News consultant and former director of the Lincoln, Hoover, Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford libraries, isn't so sure that Limbaugh will continue to be a strong voice within the party as Obama promotes bi-partisanship.

"The problem is that the mood of the country has changed and Limbaugh hasn't," said Smith. "It's a fundamentally different political and maybe cultural climate."

Rooting for Obama to Fail

Limbaugh's thumb-in-the-eye style of politics was on display shortly after Obama was inaugurated and Limbaugh announced that he was rooting for Obama to "fail."

"Limbaugh personified the 50/50 red, blue culture that we've become to assume over the last generation of American politics," he said. "But Obama from the beginning has based his campaign on changing the tone in Washington and reaching across the aisle, and that's a pie in the face to the Limbaugh model."

According to Smith, Limbaugh has his greatest success when people are most suspicious of Washington. Today, said Smith, there has been a fundamental shift in people's attitudes toward the roll of government and the Republican Party is ready to put the past behind them.

"Under those circumstances there are Republicans who want the country to succeed and are perfectly willing to see the president succeed," he said.

"In that sense, Limbaugh may be spitting into the wind."

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